Virgin entering the US money market

15 October 2007

Virgin is looking to capitalise on the US sub-prime lending crisis by entering the loan market.

Borrowers are having trouble getting loans approved as a result of the crisis and Virgin Money USA is being launched by chief, Richard Branson, in a bid to enter the market.

Speaking to Reuters, Asheesh Advani, chief executive of Virgin Money USA, said: "Banks in general are tightening up, so this is a wonderful alternative for people who are looking to seek a loan."

Virgin will enter the 'peer-to-peer' lending industry that arranges lending by matching a borrower with a lender and cutting out the bank.

"The Virgin Money proposition will be very much about creating loans and mortgages that fit you and that help you keep money in the family as opposed to giving it to a bank," said Advani.

The company will manage loans between relatives and friends after it acquired a stake in CircleLending Inc which specialises in this type of lending.

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